When it comes to ensuring top performance and productivity, its important to consider the effects that the physical environment has on workers. Office design, temperature, color, noise, and lighting conditions in the office affect concentration and productivity. At Red Dog Media we take these conditions into consideration and provide a work space that is enjoyable for employees and conducive to high quality work.
The layout of an office is a fundamental aspect of the environment that contributes to employee behavior. A more traditional office design tends to have closed off private offices for employees while more contemporary office design is characterized by an absence of internal boundaries like floor to ceiling walls. Due to lower cost and convenience, contemporary designs are becoming more popular, but they also provide other benefits. An open concept creates a flexible space that allows for a reduction in set-up and renovation time. Employees morale and satisfaction can be improved with an open design because it facilitates communication and increases interaction between employees. According to the study “Environmental quality in offices” by Vischer & Jacqueline, the quality of an office arrangement helps workers perform their tasks more quickly, easily, and efficiently; communication systems become easier and faster; and it provides comfort that affects employees behavior and work.
Indoor climates can impact both health and performance which in turn affect productivity. Discomfort factors can impede employees’ focus on their work. When high temperatures are reduced with air conditioning, employees tend to focus more. A 1994 study by Lorsch and Abdou “shows that when the air-conditioning system was introduced, employees feel that their work space becomes more comfortable and the productivity tends to increase by 5-15 percent because they can concentrate on their work.” When an employee feels comfortable with the workplace environment, distractions are reduced and performance is increased. As well, productivity decreases by 2% per each degree over 77°F which presents the link between a decrement in productivity and high indoor temperatures. High temperatures can cause lethargy which can lead to higher rates of accidents and decreased efficiency.
Colors in a work environment can have a large effect on efficiency as it will affect the mood of the occupants in a space. Some colors provide calmness, some provide comfort, and some are stimulating and many have an impact in different ways. The character of a space affects human emotions and behavior so the appropriate color should be chosen to ensure high levels of productivity. Colors also have the power to change how a rooms size is perceived. Rooms with a darker color scheme will appear to be smaller while rooms with a lighter color scheme will appear larger. A report in Procedia Engineering states that “jobs that require great concentration require a neutral colour scheme, jobs like those of accountants and attorneys require a stronger a colour scheme, while journalists would perform best in exciting and energetic colours with great contrast value.” If unsuitable colors were chosen, workers might be subject to negative psychological impacts such as stress, depression, dullness or boredom. Picking the correct color scheme leads to concentration and attention, which are both factors that improve productivity.
Noise is a factor that can undermine expected productivity and efficiency. The Procedia Engineering report also states that “when sound is turned off, errors in work are reduced and productivity increases.” Noise is an ambient stressor related to job satisfaction in the workplace. Louis Harris & Associates, Inc. found that office workers frequently reported that “the ability to concentrate without noise and other distractions” to be one of the most important parts of the work environment. Extraneous noise can be distracting but studies have shown that music can provide more benefits than silence alone. Consumer Affairs reports that a study done by Cornell University has found that “happy, upbeat music can lead employees to be more productive, cooperative, and work harder for the good of the company or team.”
The inclusion of indoor plants has shown to provide many benefits for employees as they can change human attitudes, behaviors, and physiological responses. One of the main benefits is that viewing plants is stress-reducing. Procedia Engineering reports that “office workers are reported to be less tired when they have access to plants or window views, and prefer work environments with living plants and window views.” As well, they report that natural environments can have a restorative effect on attention.
Lighting plays a huge part in the quality of a workspace. Having natural sunlight in an office keeps employees happy and productive. This is because of our natural circadian rhythm, which is affected by light, determines our peaks and pits of daily energy and balance. Andrewjensen.net says that offices that utilize natural lighting “have been shown to result in happier workers, less absenteeism, and fewer illnesses, and, because better lighting encourages satisfaction among workers, it also results in increased productivity.” Offices with large amounts of windows in productive areas, such as desk spaces and conference rooms, maximize the use of natural light.
At Red Dog Media, we understand the importance of a quality workspace. Our office has an open floor design that gives our employees ample amount of space while also keeping communication channels open. Our employees are also allowed to adjust office temperatures to their liking, either with the thermostat or with the top of the line Dyson fans we provide each employee. To create an environment that aids in concentration, we use neutral colors on the walls and flooring. Each employee is also allowed to decorate their desk as they please to create the best workspace for themselves. Sound pollution is not always something that can be controlled, so giving our employees the control of what they hear is important. We like to provide wireless headphones so each employee can listen to what they like without interrupting others work. Indoor plants add a dash of color along with a natural touch in our office which helps create a lower stress environment. Our office also utilizes natural light by having large windows around the office. Investing in our office and employees this way helps us to stay productive and produce high quality work.
A job isn’t just about the work you do, it’s also about the environment in which you do it. Adjusting a workspace to appeal to employees is not only beneficial for the employees well being, but also beneficial for the company as it pushes productivity to the limit.
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